2009 – Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd

Director James Dowson

Musical Director Brian Thomas

Lighting Design Paul Curtis

Costume Design Liz Milway





NODA Eastern Review by John Seaman

I have often wondered what I would do or say if I was asked to review a show that had no faults or weaknesses whatever. Cloud cuckoo land? No way! It happened to me on 5th June at the ADC Cambridge. Not my favourite show by any means – human pies are a definite discouragement – but this show had everything. Firstly the music under Brian Thomas’s baton, we were bound to have quality. The score requires the orchestra to back the performers for most of the time, and they were magnificent. The relatively simple set of stairways with a platform between them served the company well. They, entered, exited, and dressed the stage well at different levels with precise movements and perfect control by principals and chorus in the musical numbers. The costumes (Liz Milway) were just right and the company were very comfortable in them. Voice projection was very good. The Penguin Club were in charge of the set changes and performed with their customary efficiency. In the title role, Warren Clarke was very confident, and, together with the other male singing roles, gave us a musical treat. Warren’s development as a mass murderer, aided and abetted, of course, by Mrs Lovett (Cat Nicol) was very realistic. His disposal of his victims on the high level platform by tipping them forward from the barber’s chair was very well done. The romantic element was provided by Joanna (Rachel Jarmy) and her sailor boyfriend Anthony (Simon Young). Len Packman as Judge Turpin and Suzanne Emerson as beggar Woman were excellent in their roles. Judging by the comments of the audience as we left the auditorium, most people agreed with my reactions to the show.

A few memories of the sell-out show – all images copyright Lee Marshall…